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Neal Petrosky
Project Files
on Feb 27, 2015 at 3:59:16 pm

My company did an animated video for a national brand. I've been emailed asking for all the source files as they've updated their branding (logos etc...). They want their new agency of record to update the branding. The agency we did the work for has already told them the issues (they fact that we don't release project files). The new agency has requested a list of all plugins and software used to see if they can utilize our files. They want to know the cost for releasing the files.
Is this something we should entertain? We make it clear on our contracts that we do not release project files without a SUBSTANTIAL cost involved.
The agency we originally did the work with has explained that it would be better for us to make the necessary changes.
Aside from losing the business, I feel like it's giving away our proprietary information. If we were to sell it would need to be a lot. Due to this being an animation, it's much more involved than just an edited promo of footage.
Keep in mind this is not the original agency asking for all of this... it's a new agency that feels they should have everything.

Any insight would be appreciated.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Project Files
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:17:12 pm

Hold your ground. If it wasn't given away in the original contracts, those files are proprietary. Anybody with access to them would be able to do or re-do your job, for a fraction of the time costs of the original project. If you give away the project files, you are never going to see work from these people again, I will eat a bug if that's not the case.

The fact that this is a new agency means they should already know better, unless they're banking on the fact you're a fool who can be intimidated.

The actual company that hires the agency also has no further claim on this material. So if they want it, charge a LOT for it, because it's going to be a one-time deal. Charge the purchase cost of ALL the software used, plus the time of the original editors, plus a markup.

also, watch this video:







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Neal Petrosky
Re: Project Files
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:22:45 pm

Thanks Mark...
You're not telling me anything new, just reenforcing what I already thought, which is great to hear from a more seasoned professional.


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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Project Files
on Feb 28, 2015 at 9:14:59 am

Hey Neal,

Mark is right - and 99% of the argument is that of possession, which you have.

I would suggest that you offer your services to the new agency. Maybe to keep the old one sweet, build in a finders fee of 5% for them - then all should be happy, and you might just end up with two appreciative agency clients.

If the new agency are too "pushy", then one option is to email the brand director at the national brand, and ask them to confirm if the new agency is working for them?
And to let them know that you think their brand is fabulous and that you would love to continue doing the great work - which it must have been, or they wouldn't have asked for your source files and software knowledge... This may by some be seen as risky, but by everyone else trying to take you for a ride, you have nothing to loose.

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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Nick Griffin
Re: Project Files
on Feb 28, 2015 at 8:12:46 pm

Yea, what Mark & Mads said, but let me add:

Make it a simple choice for the new agency to use you. Tell them you want xxx,xxx.00 for the project files or one quarter to one half that much if you're the ones making the changes. Further explain that you will be far more efficient (and cost effective) than anyone attempting to re-work a project you already know inside and out.


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Neal Petrosky
Re: Project Files
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:04:25 pm

Thank you all.
So the agency we did the work for is who I've been talking to. I do not have access to the client or there new agency of record. So we don't have any way of offering our services directly to the new AOE, nor does it sound like they want to work with outside production houses (I was told they'd like to keep all work in house).
However, I did give our point of contact a buyout number for the project files with the disclaimer that things may not work correctly if they don't have all of the plugins.
I also gave them a number to do the revisions they were hoping to have done in house.
They came back to me saying that the client wants it as inexpensive as possible and just wishes to change out a logo rather than rebrand the entire video (which is dumb but... whatever it's their video).

So it looks like we'll make a little bit of money off this... not much...mere pocket change to you guys I bet, but it's better than nothing.


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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Project Files
on Mar 2, 2015 at 10:39:03 pm

Hey Neal,

Good for you making a bit of money out of it.

[Neal Petrosky] "So the agency we did the work for is who I've been talking to. I do not have access to the client or there new agency of record. So we don't have any way of offering our services directly to the new AOE, nor does it sound like they want to work with outside production houses (I was told they'd like to keep all work in house)."

I'm guessing that is what the old agency would like you to believe? However, don't forget to supply a preview file with your website and phone-number superimposed throughout for the end client to sign off on...
The same goes for the count down on the final master video ;-)

All the Best
Mads

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid
http://mads-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.co.uk


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